Justiça dos Estados Unidos nega o pedido da Huawei de declaração de inconstitucionalidade do National Defense Authorization Act (Seção 889) que proíbe a contratação, aquisição e financiamento de equipamentos encobertos de telecomunicações

O cerne da disputa está na Seção 889 do John  S. Mc Cain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019

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A Corte Distrital do Texas, em decisão do juiz Amoz Mazzant de 18.02.2020, julgou improcedente o pedido da Huawei de declaração de inconstitucionalidade da lei norte-americana que proibiu que as agências federias norte-americanas adquirissem produtos, contratassem serviços ou liberassem recursos públicos para financiar a Huawei.

O cerne da disputa está na Seção 889 do John S. Mc Cain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. Esta lei proíbe a contratação, fornecimento ou financiamento de equipamentos encobertos de telecomunicações que possam redirecionar o roteamento do tráfego de dados ou permitir o acesso não autorizado a dados dos usuários ou pacote de dados.

A Huawei defendeu a inconstitucionalidade da referida lei norte-americana, por caracterizar como bill of attainder, na medida que cria punições à marca e acusação infame de deslealdade, proíbe a contratação e banimento da empresa do mercado norte-americano.  Por sua vez, o governo norte-americano sustentou a finalidade originária da Seção 889 da referida lei é: “to further national and informational security by protecting the networks of federal agencies, contractors, and grantees from the threat of cyber-attacks and espionage by the Chinese government via companies in a position to exploit those networks”. E, ainda, prossegue o governo dos Estados Unidos: “an ancillary purpose of ensuring that federal tax dollars were not spent to procure, or otherwise further propagate on U.S networks, products that pose the aforementioned  Chinese cyber-threat”.

Ademais, o governo norte-americano explica que a Seção 889: “it serves to protect the telecommunications systems of federal agencies, contractors, and grant and loan recipients against Chinese cyber-threats by regulating the extent to which those systems will incorporate telecommunications products that carry substantial risk of exploitation by the Chinese government. This statement of the Government’s nonpunitive purpose is not a change of direction from what it later argued”. Segundo a decisão, a Seção 889 do National Defense Authorization Act: “… essentially prohibits the head of an executive agency from: (1) using the specific covered telecommunications equipment made by Huawei; (2) contracting with an entity that uses the specific covered telecommunications equipment made by Huawei; and (3) obligating or expending funds to procure or obtain the specific covered telecommunications equipment made by Huawei”.

Conforme a decisão judicial: “Additionally, Section 889 does not act a complete bar to Huawei doing business with the federal government. Section 889 is limited to the ‘covered equipment’ that is a ‘substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system”. E, ainda, o Juiz afirmou: “Huawei is not being deprived of citizenship and is not even being permanently banned from doing business in the United States. Huawei is free to do business with any company, or individual, in the United States, except for federal agencies. Thus, the Court finds Section 889 does not meet the historical definition of punishment for banishment. Because Section 889 is not a brand of disloyalty or infamy, an employment bar, or banishment, the Court finds that Section 889 is not a historical punishement”.  Além disto, a decisão dispõe que a Seção 889 do National  Defense Authorization Act não representa a culpa da Huawei. Também, a lei não significa o banimento permanente da Huawei, uma vez que há a autorização legal para que o Diretor da Inteligência Nacional (DNI), em razão do interesse nacional dos Estados Unidos, afaste as proibições da Seção 889 da respectiva lei.  Também, segundo a decisão, a Huawei reconhece que o aparente propósito da lei é a defesa nacional e a segurança das redes de comunicações do governo.

Não obstante, a Huawei não impugna o fato de que o propósito do governo ser legítimo e não punitivo.  Em outro precedente Kaspersky citado na decisão, o National Defense Authorization Act também proibiu departamentos, agências, organizações ou outros órgãos do governo federal de utilizarem hardware, software ou serviços desenvolvidos ou fornecimentos, totalmente ou parcialmente, pela empresa Kaspersky Lab. E, ainda, neste mesmo precedente afirmou-se: “given the volume and variety of governamental functions conducted by and through computers … the government’s networks … are extremely important strategic national assets, which face significant information security risks, including the threat of unauthorized acess, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of government information”. E, ainda, o Juiz argumentou: “More than what was at issue in Kaspersky the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) is placing these government networks at further risk. The IoT is the widespread incorporation of smart devices into everyday objects, such as the electric grid, vehicles – including autonomous vehicles  – and household appliances. While improving efficiency, the IoT also introduces vulnerabilities into both the infrastructure that they support and on which they rely, as well as the processes they guide”.

Adiciona também a decisão: “Thus, China has been known to attack government networks, not just through acess to federal agencies but also through private sector contractors and firms that provide support to the government”. E, ainda, sobre a questão da vulnerabilidade das redes de telecomunicações norte-americanas diante da falta de diversidade de fornecedores, menciona a decisão: “To start, the burdens imposed are not underinclusive in protecting national and informational  security through the networks of federal agencies, contractors, and grantees. The HPSCI identified that a lack of diversity in the telecommunications market is a concern for cyber security”. Segundo o Juiz a Seção 889 da lei promove a diversidade ao proibir financiamentos públicos para a Huawei: “Section 889 additionally promotes diversity by prohibiting grant and loan funds from being obligated or expended on Huawei’s covered equipment, but not placing any restrictions on grant and loan recipients themselves. While there may be other ways to further Section 889’s purposes, promoting market diversity is one possible way of doing so. Section  889 is not underinclusive in promoting diversity in the telecommunication market”.

A respeito do questionamento dos limites à lei denominada National Defense Authorization Act, a decisão responde o seguinte:  “Again, the burdens imposed are that: (1) Huawei can no longer contract with a federal agency for the ‘covered equipment’, (2) Huawei will no be able to contract with any entity for ‘covered equipment’ that wishes to contract with the federal government, as Section 889 prevents the head  of a federal agency from contracting with any entity that uses the ‘covered equipment’; and (3) it will no longer receive federal grant or loan money for the ‘covered equipment’. The purported purposes are (1) to further national and informational security by protecting the networks of federal agencies, contractors, and grantees from the threat of cyber-attacks and espionage by the Chinese government via companies in a position to exploit those networks; and (2) to ensure that federal tax dollars were not spent procure, or otherwhise further propagate on U.S networks, products that pose aforementioned Chinese cyber-threat”.  A decisão judicial entende que os limites da lei intitulada National Defense Authorization Act estão adequadamente dimensionados: “The Court finds that Section 889 is appropriately tailored to the burdens imposed. First, the statute is limited in scope. Section 889 ensured the ‘covered equipment’ was limited to equipment that cannot route or redirect user data traffic or permit visibility into any user data or packets that such equipment transmits or otherwise handles. It is further limited in its scope because it does not impose a blanket ban; instead, it applies only to products that contain covered equipment as ‘a substantial or essential component of any system, or ‘critical technology as part of any system”. E menciona o Juiz um documento denominado Counterintelligence Strategic Partnership Intelligence Note do FBI sobre a questão da função dos roteadores utilizados no tráfego de dados pela internet: “Internet Exchange points (IXP) use a host of networking equipment, including sophisticated routers and swicthes, which enables traffic to be properly routed. This equipment is comprised of integraded circuits that can be severely impacted, thereby modifying functionality, including backdoors and/or kill switches. Although hostile actors manufacturing such products could conceivably target all integrated circuits to be used in routers, they might instead target integrated circuits used the most sophisticated equipment. The internet in the United States could theoretically be brought down or severely disrupted because of the routers and switches serving the IXPs were disabled”.

Outro argumento analisado refere-se aos riscos de ataques cibernéticos por agentes chineses: “Moreover, as previously noted, the DNI identified that the ‘most detected Chinese cyber operations against US private industry are focused on cleared defense contractors or IT and communications firms whose products and services support government and private sectors networks worldwide. This concern was echoed by the U.S – China Economic and Security Review Comission in the April 2019 Suply Chain Vulnerabilities from China in U.S Federal Information and Communications Technology …”  Quanto à alegação da Huawei de violacão à cláusula do devido processo legal, decidiu-se que a Seção 889 da referida lei pode produzir consequências econômicas para Huawei. Entretanto, apesar do impacto econômico, o propósito da lei é legítimo. A contratação com o governo federal é uma faculdade, não é um direito constitucional garantido. Por sua vez, quanto à ofensa a Vesting Clauses (separação de poderes), a decisão dispõe que o legislador não é obrigado a investigar todos os fatos relacionados à questão da segurança nacional e da segurança cibernética relacionados à Huawei.

Ao final, a decisão negou o pedido da Huawei de declaração de inconstitucionalidade da Seção 889 da  National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 que proíbe às agências federais norte-americanas de contratarem, adquirirem ou financiarem produtos e/ou serviços da Huawei.

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